How to study vocals with ICMP's Francesca Confortini
When it comes to studying vocals, our alumna-turned tutor Francesca Confortini is well placed to help new singers hit those high notes.
After studying performing arts at Scuola del Musical in Milan, Italy, Francesca came to ICMP and graduated with a first class degree in Popular Music Performance. She has taught vocals privately and in several music institutions in London while playing with numerous funk and jazz ensembles, songwriting and continuing her live career singing across Europe in prestigious venues such as Wembley Stadium, the Ritz and the Roundhouse.
Francesca will be one of the tutors leading our next wave of part-time courses this spring. If you're an aspiring vocalist, then read her top tips on how to find your voice...
How can you start out as a singer/vocalist? For the uninitiated, where do they begin?
Starting to sing is about starting to know or discover yourself: your voice is your own instrument that you can't see. So when starting out, we really need to be able to listen to our body and set some general rules that will let us feel comfortable while expressing ourselves.
All beginners should listen to a good variety of music and start to get involved in the voice of whoever is singing, replicating melodies by trying to find the pitch, feeling the tempo and changes in dynamics.
Is there any equipment you might need in order to begin singing? Do you need anything?
Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel at ease and don't take yourself too seriously: if you want to sing you need to be ready to challenge yourself."
You don't need any gear to do so - just be determined and willing to enjoy yourself!
How can new vocalists find their voice - and at a level where they feel comfortable?
It can be a long process sometimes, but experimenting and not getting stuck into one specific genre is usually the key to finding your own voice: keep practising and pick the vocal exercises that work best for you. Listen to your favourite artists until you have a wide range of elements to choose from, then turn them into something new, something yours.
How can new singers look after their voices?
It's important to listen to your body when singing: as soon as you feel tired or your throat hurts, stop singing immediately and cool down with soft exercises.
Always warm up your voice and your body before performing and make sure you are always well hydrated, just like you would do before holding a long speech."
Take care of your precious instrument just like you would do with your guitar or with your piano. And, if you do smoke, then it's probably a good time to try and stop!
How often should new vocalists sing?
They should sing for however long they want, as long as they don't feel too tired: as I said before, it's important not to underestimate the signals your body sends to you, and stop immediately if it starts to hurt. In terms of practising singing, it's not recommended to spend hours and hours warming up. It's much better to find the two-three exercises that work best for you and just practise ten-fifteen minutes per day.
What are your top tips for aspiring vocalists?
Relax and have fun - singing is the ultimate expression of someone's feelings: everything you have been experiencing today will show as soon as you lose the barriers and step out of your comfort zone. Get ready to embrace whatever happens next and use all the new technical skills you will learn to manage your instrument and deliver an engaging performance.
Study Vocals in London
If you'd like to learn more about how to sing, then why not study at ICMP ? You can find out more about our selection of courses by contacting our Admissions Team. Please call them on 020 7328 0222 or email email@example.com.
We offer a range of courses to suit a variety of life styles including six-week part-time evening classes.
You can also book yourself a place on our next Open Day to find out more about life with us here at ICMP.